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H.R. 6729, An Act to confirm a certain private land claim in the Territory of New Mexico, 1881

The House of Representatives introduced private legislation in 1881 confirming a land grant for heirs of Jose Julian Martínez. Ultimately Congress was unable to resolve the dispute and the case went to the Court of Private Land Claims. The court later ruled that a lumber company owned a portion of the property.

Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, National Archives and Records Administration

H.R. 6729, An Act to confirm a certain private land claim in the Territory of New Mexico, 1881

Hispanic Land Claims

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ending the U.S.-Mexican War expanded the United States to the Pacific Coast. It conferred U.S. citizenship on former Mexican nationals in the new territories, protecting their “property of every kind.” Yet many families who had received land decades or centuries earlier from Mexico or Spain found their ownership contested by new claimants. To settle disputes, Congress passed private acts and created a temporary Court of Private Land Claims (1891–1904), but many Mexican Americans lacked documents required to prove their claims.